Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Students Teaching Students

Long, countless hours of study with little sleep are signs that finals are quickly approaching. If you feel that you are struggling, consider your fellow classmates for further help.

SI (Student Instructor) sessions are available year-round. SI leaders hold weekly study groups for students taking difficult courses who want to improve their grades and understanding of their courses for free.

“We started SI [sessions] at FAU in fall 2007. We piloted it in MGF 1106, and expanded it in spring 2008 to nine courses. SI is an international program from University of Missouri [in] Kansas City that has been around for over 30 years,” says Jennifer Bebergal, director of Student Retention.

SI sessions are free for all students, and, according to Bebergal, students who attend SI sessions receive better grades. She encourages every student enrolled in the available courses to take advantage of this free help.

“We have found that, typically, students who attend SI [sessions] regularly earn up to a full letter grade higher than those who never attend SI [sessions],” says Bebergal.

Fellow FAU students who have previously taken the courses and received As lead these study sessions. There are 37 leaders offering 88 SI sections, covering 22 different courses.

Unlike other mentors, SI leaders attend class lectures, help students develop note-taking strategies and aid students in becoming independent learners so they can obtain good grades on their own.

Danielle Howard, an SI leader who helps with college algebra, feels that SI is a beneficial program for students.

“We work on study methods, but mostly I try to get students to teach each other. A proven fact is that we remember more of what we engage in, and even more of what we teach. That’s what SI is for. We engage students in the material, and, if possible, allow them to explain it to one another,” Howard says.

Patricia Maria Diaz is an SI leader for psychology, and her main aspiration is to help her students achieve their academic goals.

“I know how good I felt when I got an A in a difficult course, and I want to help others feel the same sense of self-confidence and pride. This is the most rewarding work I have ever done, and I am happy to be a part of the SI team. The program really helps students to learn and I really believe in what we do in SI,” says Diaz.

Chelsea Kisela, another SI leader for psychology, helps students connect topics together so they can develop a better understanding of the material.

“I encourage participation and try to get students to think critically about the topics, reflecting them on their past experiences and knowledge. Together, we come up with examples – the more crazy or memorable, the better – to link the material together,” Kisela says.

SI sessions are a good way for students to actively learn with fellow classmates. Marsha Toi-GB, a freshman pre-business major, actively attends SI sessions for her psychology class. Ultimately, she feels that SI sessions have helped her obtain a better understanding of the material.

“SI sessions help me point out the main points from the textbook. If you attend SI sessions, then the information will stick in your head more,” says Toi-GB.

Although SI sessions are free for students, the SI leaders are paid for helping students achieve better grades. According to Bebergal, the budget for paying the SI leaders comes from the dean of Undergraduate Studies and from Student Government, as well as help from Lifelong Learning and the New Clearwire Contract.

SI sessionsStudents in these courses can get free help through SI sessions.? Accounting I & II (ACG 2021 & 2071),? Astronomy (AST 2002), ? Chemistry I & II, Organic Chemistry I & II (CHM 2045, 2046, 2210, 2211), ? Psychology (PSY 1012), ? Physics (General, College & Physics for Engineers I & II: PHY 2043, 2044, 2049, 2053, 2054),? Math for Liberal Arts I (MGF 1106), ? College Algebra (MAC 1105), ? Methods of Calculus (MAC 2233), ? Precalculus (MAC 1140), ? Trigonometry (MAC 1114), ? Precalc Algebra & Trig combo (MAC 1147), ? Calculus I for Engineers (MAC 2253), ? Calculus I with Analytic Geometry (MAC 2311), ? Statistics (STA 2023)

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